Attention : Volunteering Opportunities

       Attention: Volunteering Opportunites

Hello! I am receiving many inquiries into volunteering in Ladakh this year and thank you for writing to us!

At the moment we are busy planning and fundraising for some reading rooms in other areas of the Himalayan region. It looks like we’ll require some talented people with art and language skills September onwards.

So if you are interested, please email avalokitesvaratrust@gmail.com with the subject: Volunteer 2016 and I shall send you a volunteer form if we are interested in taking it further. It’s difficult to reply to each individual, so please understand that we shall be in touch on a suitability and availability basis.

We also may require volunteers with a design or architectural background. More news on that soon.

Thank you!

P.S. The best and preferred way to be in touch is via email

Little Buddhas in the woods

LITTLE BUDDHAS IN THE WOODS

Little Buddhas in the woods

Little Buddhas in the woods

On a magical sunny day, in the month of August (2015), we decided to spend a day with the young monks of  the Chemdey Monastery in the village of Sakti. Our friends, artist, Abhishek Singh, musician and drum-jammer Kumi Masunaga and her lovely daughter Aya, came with us to share their talents, their skills and to spread joy! We were also accompanied by my little daughter Samira, my husband, our Ladakhi friends and Sushil, a Mumbai-based photographer who captured some glorious moments!

 

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Assembling hula hoops

The young monks from Chemdey Gonpa school participated in ice-breaking musical activities that Kumi had designed for them. Abhishek introduced them to a few art activities, took them through the process of creating their group artwork and showed them stunning visuals from his comic book. Aya demonstrated how to ‘hula-hoop’! We also set up a book corner in the school.

The young monks were keen to learn and listened carefully to the process, enjoyed drawing and colouring, asked questions and at the end, proudly exhibited their artwork in the woods!

Kumi is a Japanese percussionist and a drum circle facilitator who lives in Hong Kong with over fifteen years of performing, teaching, and facilitating experience. She has worked with a range of ages and cultural backgrounds, designing, planning and executing programmes. For more- www.drum-jam.com

Aya is natural performer. She sings, dances and has lead her “Circle Game” playshop for groups of children at events. She has acted in youth musicals, theatre play and some TV commercials in Hong Kong. She speaks English, Japanese and basic Cantonese and Mandarin. Here engagement with the children we visited, has been both endearing very valuable!

Abhishek Singh is artist,animation film-maker and graphic novelist who currently lives between his studios in Brooklyn, New York and Mumbai. Whenever possible he retreats for a meditation trek in the Himalayas. For more – www.abhishekartstore.com

Photo courtesy, Sushil, Kumi and Abhigya

In the slideshow you will see- Chemdey Gonpa, the village of Sakti,  the monks at play and at work, receiving their Ladakhi copies of ‘Chuskit Goes to School’ , a group photo and more.

 

 

 

A new library for Norling Creche and Kindergarten

 

Avalokitesvara Trust creates reading rooms for children so for International Book Giving Day, we decided to start a book-collection drive. We received an incredible response from all over India. Books were carefully chosen, ordered and shipped to Dharamsala for the young readers of Norling Creche & Kindergarten. We are happy to have enhanced their little library with good quality books. To have played a role in encouraging the joy of reading and bringing smiles to their faces!

We got together to open packages of delightful books and celebrate International Book Giving Day at the Norling creche and kindergarten. A group of 15 volunteers, aged 8 to 10 years were very eager to create a new library upstairs. They happily carried all the old books and categorised them into small, medium and large books. We had a little contest to see which group ( red, green, yellow, blue, white colours of the prayer flags) could count the most books in the least time. It was chaotic and so much fun!! And they finished counting the books in 9 minutes (they’d decided on 15 minutes as the target) After this exercise, they realised that their existing books needed to be categorised into levels and broader subjects. So we created colour codes for levels of reading, for Tibetan, science and for teacher reading material. After four hours of activity we finally displayed all the new additions on to the empty shelves. 

The next day, we played a few games. An improvisation of ‘Simon says’, became ‘Norbu says, Sangmo says..’ and the library room was filled with laughter! To calm everyone down, we sat in a circle and concentrated on our breathing. This wasn’t any easy task as a few of them were curious to know what was to follow but we managed to bring back our focus and recollect the activities of the previous session and the task at hand. Setting up a library is no small job and the children once again, tidied up the piles of old books. After all this work, they had a tea break and then finally, chose a book each and sat in a corner or lay on their tummies to immerse themselves in their new book collection. It was very satisfying to see them enjoying the books with quiet rapture. We added a few finishing touches and called it a day by taking a group of books for the little ones downstairs to create a small toddler library. Now that we’re ready, we’ll be inviting ALL the children from ALL the classes to their new reading rooms. We can’t wait!!

We appreciate the kind support of the people who got together to make this a huge success. Thank you Wishes & Blessings, Tanushree Singh, Ishaan, Vivaan, Vaani Arora, Unnati Sethi, Sonika Balyan, Vidya Janakiraman, Sujatha Padmanabhan, Khanjan Dalal, Smitha & Nava, Sonali Jain & Neil Biswas, Neelam, Ferzin Patel, Niki & Akki and each and everyone of you who contributed or helped in other ways.

‪#‎AvalokitesvaraTrust‬ ‪#‎bookgiving‬

The Norbulingka Institute, founded in 1988 and is dedicated to the preservation of the Tibetan culture in its literary and artistic forms. Norbulingka is dedicated to handing down tradition and restoring standards by providing training, education and employment for Tibetans. It supports an environment in which Tibetan community and family values can flourish. The institute is named after Norbulingka, the traditional summer residence of the Dalai Lamas, in Lhasa, Tibet. The ground plan is based on the proportions of Avalokitesvara, the thousand-armed god of compassion, with the temple as the head.

Norbulingka runs a free daycare – the Norling creche and kindergarten, and after school program for all the children of their staff. This eases the mind of parents who know their children are being well looked after, and allows children to learn Tibetan values from an early age. Currently, they are working to build a small library so that the children may acquire a love of reading from an early age.